The members of the Working Group, appointed by the Ministry of Education to draw up guidelines to combat early school leaving, in a letter sent to the Minister not only express their surprise and concern at the provisions of Decree 170 for to the destination of the first 500 million planned. by the Pnrr, but also call for its substantial modification.
“Unfortunately, the decree does not correspond to the documented indications we have collected from the guidelines shared with Minister Bianchi”Declare Ludovico Albert, Marco Rossi-Doria, Franco Lorenzoni, Andrea Morniroli, Vanessa Pallucchi, Don Marco Pagniello, Chiara Saraceno, signatories of a detailed letter sent to the head of the Department of Education.
Experts criticize the criterion of the distribution of rainfall of funds, which contradicts the long-term structural action required by the EU, more attentive to the nature and critical quality of situations.
The working group essentially considers that the criteria previously developed and shared by Minister Bianchi himself have been circumvented. It is certainly not good news for the minister who will now have to decide whether to withdraw the decree before it is registered by the Court of Auditors.
We publish the text of the letter
We are writing to express our surprise and concern at what was decided with Decree 170, of June 24, 2022, pending registration by the Court of Auditors, which allocated resources to school autonomy in the field of contrast of educational gaps and “early school leaving” for the part of 500 million euros of the total 1.5 billion euros of the intervention referred to in funding 1.4 of measure 4 of the PNR.
As you know, the Working group (GdL) established by you with Ministerial Decree of March 7, 2022 n. 57 delivered to the Ministry a detailed document which, by express mandate, meant:
- avoid resource allocations that are not fully supported by the data set needed to properly define indicators that connote gaps and student exclusion factors according to a multidimensional approach;
- launch a solid systematic action, capable of rigorously interpreting the mandate of the PNRR itself which seeks to introduce corrections to the system to a long and painful history of de facto exclusion from the right to study in Italy and which therefore avoid an order. “A rain” of financing from automation, promoting, instead, a system of binding indications on how to use resources well, in order to ensure, more than in the past, the quality of action on the ground learning from experience,
- to promote stable educational alliances, based on binding civil pacts because they are indispensable to reach each and every one of the children and that, therefore, see the construction of territorial pacts as a non-optional but binding option, field by field, from the areas of maximum crisis. The purpose was -according to what you yourself invited us to do several times- to encourage the construction of educating communities between the three components of a) school autonomies that exercise the central function that corresponds to them b) municipalities that share responsibilities with the school in ensuring the obligation to teach according to the civil code) and have services aimed at educational and social recovery, c) third sector agencies, whose status is reinforced by the rules governing it, indicated , therefore, no longer in a generic way. but for their specific and vital function of subsidiary positive action which the Constitution attributes to them on the basis of art. 118, further reinforced by recent rulings of the High Court of Justice. An alliance that in many consolidated experiences already underway shows that it allows the improvement of the educational offer and the strengthening of the schools that operate in the most difficult contexts.
Unfortunately, Decree 170 does not correspond to the meditated and documented indications that the WG Document has collected from these guidelines that we have shared with you, with the Council of Ministers, with the structure of the Ministry that presides over the funds of the PNRR.
In fact, given the criteria for allocating funds to the centers that the WG has indicated in a set that includes test results not passed, number of absences of students, incidence of foreign students, incidence of students with SEN ( special educational needs), adults with a low cultural level, with compulsory or lower education, the presence of young grandchildren, the presence of large families (six members or more) and “potentially needy” families with a reference person under 65 and where there is no income from work or retirement), Decree 170 was opposed to a very simplified set of criteria that includes the number of students, the number of ELETs aged 18-25, the incidence of students foreigners, the incidence of the population without a school degree, the rate of families with 5 or more components.
The simplification of the criteria is implicitly justified in a hurry. However, the EU requires us, for the PNRR, to put in place a weighted framework of indicators against which fit ei goal. And Europe has been wondering for years “people-centered and place-focused approach”. The territories and characteristics of family members should have had more weight, under penalty of the overestimated weight of the number of high school students with respect to social conditioning. And it may be necessary to re-include very difficult schools that are excluded today. The absence, for example, of unemployment data affects the system. More generally, it is necessary, finally, to establish objectives of educational improvement and of competences of the population that can be examined in the time, able to catch the great differentiation in the conditions of beginning of the parents in the different scopes of exclusion for so as to be able to face and supervise, allying with the same parents, the processes of reintegration in the educational itineraries of the children and the improvement of the learnings.
We are very concerned that Decree 170 postpones any indication on how to implement the improvement defined in funding 1.4, which, in turn, deals in detail with the WG document. In fact, while Decree 170 allocates resources school by school but does not define “who, what and how to use them”, the WG Document, at your request, proposes clear and verifiable indications aimed at reversing the trend of increase gaps between minors, territories, schools and initiate a broad system action -as established by the PNRR- to combat training failure by quickly examining the areas of intervention by objectives within the sections of the same Document:
- to reinforce the offer of the centers with a competent accompaniment in the elaboration and management of actions to prevent and to repair the educational failure by means of the fortification of its personnel;
- create priority areas of education dedicated to systematic and long-term interventions in particularly difficult areas;
- to establish objectives of interventions differentiated by age, situations and needs, in a flexible way according to the contexts and oriented to the repair and the full recovery of the right to the study and the formation, also by means of the activation of routes of second opportunity;
- to give strength to the learning processes of each student in a situation of exclusion, fragility, difficulty, also with a personalized tutoring and actions of responsibility;
- co-construct home-school alliances in the distinction of roles and functions and in the concordance of shared educational purposes;
- involving families and supporting and promoting the role of children and young people;
- to take care of a foresight vision that foresees the exchange and the permanent comparison between schools, continuity in the phases of transition and orientation, capacity building of all professionals involved between school and extracurricular.
Then there is the “issue of issues” that Decree 170 does not explain. How to promote cohesive and permanent territorial alliances around schools between the schools themselves, local bodies and the third sector in a cooperative and egalitarian way, ensuring the maintenance over time of educating communities based on the example of best practices already underway in every part of Italy? The WG document indicates how to build and ensure the coordination, impacts and verification of the actions of cohesive territorial associations. But these indications have not been received. There is a postponement to other times and other instances. We, on the other hand, believe it is urgent to clarify how the alliances necessary to reach children take place and what organization and procedures govern the use of resources to activate a multifaceted action in the territories, with the school at the center but thanks to effective coordination. intention, action, and consistent allocation of resources within the alliance. In addition, it is now necessary to indicate how the complex procedures intended to define and activate accompanying actions during construction, monitoring and evaluation will be configured.
We believe that it is reasonable – as Decree 170 does – to indicate school-by-school funding. We think so because in this way we finally avoid the bidding procedure, on a topic that clearly suggests not operating by competition but proceeding by the “concordant support” of educational actors that, territory by territory, can shape the educating communities. . At the same time, we think that the Decree makes the serious mistake of not conditioning the confirmation of the allocation of funds to the constitution of the territorial alliance, to the shared elaboration of a project of territorial action and to the improvement of the ‘school supply. which includes annuities 2022-23, 2023-24 and possibly 2024-25. In short, it would have been possible and should have immediately added to the allocation of resources a defined set of frameworks, operational guidelines and commitment rules, mandatory as defined in the Working Group Document. It is really unthinkable to devote so many resources to such an important topic without defining a clear system of opportunities and limitations for its use.
For these reasons we ask you to work so that the course is immediately corrected and therefore the motivated and reasonable measures that we have proposed to you to respond to generalized and deep needs and obligatory and despised rights are prepared, that require a action not only fast but well . There is still the opportunity to avoid the very serious risk that the lack of indications, based on the experience of many schools and civic education operators, on how to produce, accompany and monitor actions to counter gaps and the scattering may betray them. PNRR repeating a “rain” intervention instead of initiating long-term structural action as requested by the EU.
In expressing this sense of urgency, we send you a cordial greeting,
Ludovico Albert, Marco Rossi Doria, Franco Lorenzoni, Andrea Morniroli, Vanessa Pallucchi, Don Marco Pagniello, Chiara Saraceno